Acupuncture and moxibustion for primary osteoporosis: An overview of systematic review

Medicine (Baltimore). 2020 Feb;99(9):e19334. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000019334.


Primary osteoporosis (PO) is a common disease that was characterized by a systemic impairment of bone mass and microarchitecture that results in fragility fractures and constitutes a pressing public health problem. But the effect of acupuncture or moxibustion treatment for PO is controversial.To provide a comprehensive systematic overview of current evidence from systematic reviews (SR)/Meta-analysis of acupuncture treatment for PO pertaining to risk of bias, quality of evidence and report quality.A total of 9 international and Chinese databases were searched for SR/meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs). The risk of bias of SR/meta-analysis was appraised using the risk of bias in systematic reviews (ROBIS) instrument, the quality of the evidence was evaluated via Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE), and the report quality of the included studies are estimated by Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA).According to ROBIS, only 2 articles were with risk of low bias; according to PRISMA, and most articles were reported incomplete, mainly in Q2, Q7, Q24, and Q27; according to GRADE, a total of 28 outcome indicators were evaluated under 4 different interventions of experimental group and control group: the evidence quality of bone mineral density (BMD) from treatment of acupuncture and moxibustion/acupuncture and moxibustion plus was high or moderate; Visual Analogue Score (VAS) of acupuncture plus moxibustion or acupuncture plus moxibustion plus other was low or very low; clinical effectiveness of acupuncture plus moxibustion or acupuncture plus moxibustion plus other was uncertain.Acupuncture and moxibustion can improve the BMD of PO patients according to high-quality evidence, and may benefit VAS, pain score, clinical efficacy based on moderate or low-quality evidence. Further research that provides higher quality evidence of SR/RCTs of acupuncture and moxibustion treatment for PO is required.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Therapy / methods
  • Acupuncture Therapy / standards*
  • Humans
  • Moxibustion / methods
  • Moxibustion / standards*
  • Osteoporosis / physiopathology
  • Osteoporosis / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome